I posted last week about Diane Wood, the federal judge and oboist who is a candidate to fill a soon-to-be vacant seat on the US Supreme Court. (Unsurprisingly, Patty Mitchell, prolific blogger and online curator of all things oboe-related, also picked up the story.)
The oboe isn’t just an instrument; it’s a way of life. … Playing the oboe means living your life entirely at the mercy of tiny wooden double reeds that crack at inopportune moments (weirder and more awful yet, you’re supposed to make them yourself as though you were a 19th century artisan). It also means blowing so hard into them that you risk a brain aneurysm every time you try to hit a high D. It also means you’re a huge nerd.
And speaking for myself and so many others in the oboe community, I don’t think it’s an overstatement to suggest that even if Wood had no judicial experience at all, even if she’d never even gone to law school — heck, even if she were a fifth-grader squawking out “Ode to Joy” on a plastic Bundy — she’d still probably be more qualified for the Supreme Court bench than anyone else in the pool. Why? Because oboists may vary in talent, discipline, ethnicity, gender and taste in unfashionable clothes, but we all have one thing in common: We’re just about the most judgmental people on the face of the Earth.
Where does our judgmentalism come from? The same place as everyone’s: insecurity, self-loathing, anger at parents (which oboists have in high doses because most of us had parents who forced us to play the oboe).
Thanks to Michael Kibbe for the tip about the LA Times article.